The Sun Also Rises, Books 2 & 3 — In Pictures

Be sure to read/look at the previous entry if you haven’t already.  It explains my purpose with this post.  As before, page numbers refer to the First Scribner trade paperback edition, 2003.  All photos, unless they are mine, were pulled from the internet, so if one belongs to you and you would prefer that I remove it, just let me know and I will.

BOOK 2

Paris & Other Parts of France (& Europe)

[Bill] wrote that Vienna was wonderful.  Then a card from Budapest: “Jake, Budapest is wonderful.” (76)

Vienna.  Wonderful.

Vienna, Austria.   In German it’s called Wien, and sausages (and people, and anything really…) from Wien are called Wieners — which is where we get the word.   Wonderful!

budapest

Budapest, Hungary. Incidentally, the first city outside the US that I ever traveled to. Wonderful!

At the juncture of the Rue Denfert-Rochereau with the Boulevard is a statue of two men in flowing robes.  (78)

One of these robed gents is an architect.  Not the father of pharmacy as

One of these robed gents is an architect. Not the father of pharmacy as Bill says.

“Is she really Lady something or other?” Bill asked in the taxi on our way down to the Ile Saint Louis.  (82)

There are two very important islands in the River Seine in Paris.  The first is the Ile de la Cité, upon which sits Notre Dame cathedral along with the marker that is the cartographic center of Paris (ie. all distances from Paris are measured from that exact point) and many other important buildings.  Behind Ile de la Cité is the Ile St. Louis, which is somewhat more residential and is, in fact, one of the most expensive neighborhoods to live in in Europe.  It is in the foreground of this picture.

There are two very important islands in the River Seine in Paris. The first is the Ile de la Cité, upon which sits Notre Dame cathedral along with the marker that is the cartographic center of Paris (ie. all distances from Paris are measured from that exact point) and many other important buildings. Behind Ile de la Cité is the Ile St. Louis, which is somewhat more residential and is, in fact, one of the most expensive neighborhoods to live in in Europe. It is in the foreground of this picture.

We walked along under the trees that grew out over the river on the Quai d’Orléans side of the island.  (82)

The Quai d'Orleans side of the Ile St. Louis.  (I think...this is from our school trip in April 2015)

The Quai d’Orleans side of the Ile St. Louis. (I think…this is from our school trip in April 2015)

We walked on and circled the island.  The river was dark and a bateau mouche went by, all bright with lights, going fast and quiet up and out of sight under the bridge.  Down the river was Notre Dame, squatting against the night sky.  We crossed to the left bank of the Seine by the wooden foot-bridge from the Quai de Bethune, and stopped on the bridge and looked down the river at Notre Dame.  Standing on the bridge the island looked dark, the houses were high against the sky and the trees were shadows.  (83)

This is a view from a bateau  mouche on the Seine.  The building in the back to the right is the Musée d'Orsay, an art museum dedicated to Impressionist art (and one of my most favorite museums in the world).

This is a view from a bateau mouche on the Seine (bateau is French for boat). The building in the back to the right is the Musée d’Orsay, an art museum dedicated to Impressionist art (and one of my most favorite museums in the world).

“Say, there’s plenty of Americans on this train,” the husband said.  “They’ve got seven cars of them from Dayton, Ohio.  They’ve been on a pilgrimage to Rome, and now they’re going down to Biarritz and Lourdes.”  (91)

Rome, Italy.  "The Eternal City." All roads lead here, and it wasn't built in a day.

Rome, Italy. “The Eternal City.” All roads lead here, and it wasn’t built in a day.

Biarritz.  Swanky French beach town.

Biarritz. Swanky French beach town.

Lourdes, France.  in 1858 a peasant girl had visions of the Virgin Mary here, and the place subsequently became an important site of pilgrimage, in particular for those suffering from diseases that have no cure, for Lourdes is most famous for its number of miraculous healings (thousands of them).

Lourdes, France. In 1858 a peasant girl had visions of the Virgin Mary here, and the place subsequently became an important site of pilgrimage, in particular for those suffering from diseases that have no cure, for Lourdes is most famous for its number of miraculous healings (thousands of them).

The train stopped for half an hour at Bordeaux and we went out through the station for a little walk.  (94)

Bordeaux is a charming small city on France's southern Atlantic coast.  It's one of the most important wine-growing regions in France, which is probably the most important wine-growing country in the world.  Which would make Bordeaux the most important wine region in the world.

Bordeaux is a charming small city on France’s southern Atlantic coast. It’s one of the most important wine-growing regions in France, which is probably the most important wine-growing country in the world.  Which would make Bordeaux the most important wine region in the world.

Bayonne is a nice town.  It is like a very clean Spanish town and it is on a big river…We went out into the street and took a look at the cathedral.  (96)

Bayonne, France.  Note the cathedral in the background.

Bayonne, France. Note the cathedral in the background.

Spain

We past lots of Basques with oxen, or cattle, hauling carts alnog the road, and nice farmhouses, low roofs, and all white-plastered.  In the Basque country the land all looks very rich and green and the houses and villages look well-off and clean.  Every village had a pelota court and on some of them kids were playing in the hot sun.  There were signs on the walls of the churches saying it was forbidden to play pelota against them, and the houses in the villages had red tiled roofs… (97)

The Basque people, by some estimates, are part of the oldest culture in Europe.  Their language, Euskara (or Basque), is unrelated to all other languages in Europe; that is, it's not an offshoot of Latin (like Spanish, French and Italian) or German (like English and Dutch).  Some believe it goes back as far as the stone age, but it's origins are unknown.  it tells us that the Basque have been in the area for a very, very long time.

The Basque people, by some estimates, are part of the oldest culture in Europe. Their language, Euskara (or Basque), is unrelated to all other languages in Europe; that is, it’s not an offshoot of Latin (like Spanish, French and Italian) or German (like English and Dutch).  Some believe it goes back as far as the stone age, but its origins are unknown. it tells us that the Basque have been in the area for a very, very long time.

Then we crossed a wide plain, and there was a big river off on the right shining in the sun from between the line of trees, and away off you could see the plateau of Pamplona rising out of the plain, and the walls of the city, and the great brown cathedral, and the broken skyline of the other churches.  In back of the plateau were the mountains, and every way you looked there were other mountains, and ahead the road stretched out white across the plain going toward Pamplona.  (99)

Is that not gorgeous?

Is that not gorgeous?

At the end of the street I saw the cathedral [of Pamplona] and walked up toward it.  The first time I ever saw it I thought the facade was ugly but I liked it now.  (102)

Fachada_catedral_de_pamplona

We sat in the Iruña [cafe] for a while and had coffee and then took a little walk out to the bull-ring… (105)

cafe Iruna

The Cafe Iruña, interior

Hemingway-Camino

If you have your meal or your drink at the bar of the Iruña, you can drink with Hemingway’s statue!

 

We’re going trout fishing in the Irati River… (108)

The Irati River

The Irati River.  Dramatic.

As we came to the edge of the rise we saw the red roofs and white houses of Burguete ahead strong out on the plain, and away off on the shoulder of the first dark mountain was the gray metal-sheathed roof of the monastery of Roncesvalles.  (114)

Burguete

Burguete.  Red roofs and white houses, just as Hemingway described.

Roncesvalles monastery.

Roncesvalles monastery.

This isn't related to Hemingway, but one of the most important stories from the Middle Ages, "The Song of Roland", tells of the Battle of Roncesvalles.  In the story, Charlemagne's army is facing the Saracens and suffers its only major loss, one that would have been worse had Roland (Orlando in Spanish/Italian) not blown his horn and warned his fellow knights.  This story laid the framework for the concept of chivalry and knighthood in Europe.  This picture shows Roland/Orlando's death.

This isn’t related to Hemingway, but one of the most important stories from the Middle Ages, “The Song of Roland”, tells of the Battle of Roncesvalles. In the story, Charlemagne’s army is facing the Saracens and suffers its only major loss, one that would have been worse had Roland (Orlando in Spanish/Italian) not blown his horn and warned his fellow knights. This story laid the framework for the concept of chivalry and knighthood in Europe. This picture shows Roland/Orlando’s death at Roncesvalles.

In the evenings we played three-handed bridge with an Englishman named Harris, who had walked over from Saint Jean Pied de Port and was stopping at the inn for the fishing.  (130)

St. Jean Pied de Port

St. Jean Pied de Port

Most of the places mentioned in the Spanish section of the book are part of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.  This is an ancient pilgrimage route from the Pyrenees at the border of France and Spain to the Atlantic Coast.  Originally those who walked the Camino did so for religious or spiritual purposes, and many still do, but many others hike or bike the roughly 500 miles because it's a stunningly gorgeous walk!  Because people have been doing this for centuries, there are many hostels and places to stay along the way for pilgrims.  When Hemingway mentions that Harris walked over from St. Jean Pied de Port, he's implying that Harris was probably walking the Camino.

Most of the places mentioned in the Spanish section of the book are part of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. This is an ancient pilgrimage route from the Pyrenees at the border of France and Spain to the Atlantic Coast. Originally those who walked the Camino did so for religious or spiritual purposes, and many still do, but many others hike or bike the roughly 500 miles because it’s a stunningly gorgeous walk! Because people have been doing this for centuries, there are many hostels and places to stay along the way for pilgrims. When Hemingway mentions that Harris walked over from St. Jean Pied de Port, he’s implying that Harris was probably walking the Camino.

They’ve never seen a desencajonada. (136)

For the following quotations, see the videos below:

At noon of Sunday, the 6th of July, the fiesta [of San Fermin] exploded.  (156)

Before the waiter brought the sherry the rocket that announced the fiesta went up in the square.  It burst and there was a gray ball of smoke high up above the Theatre Gayarre.  (157)

People were coming into the square from all sides, and down the street we heard the pipes and the fifes and the drums coming.  They were playing the riau-riau music, the pipes shrill and the drums pounding, and behind them came the men and boys dancing.  (157)

The afternoon was a big religious procession.  San Fermin was translated from one church to another.  In the procession were all the dignitaries, civil and religious.  (158-9)

[Pedro Romero, the matador] was the best-looking boy I’ve ever seen.  (167)

Hemingway based the character of Pedro Romero on the young Toreador, .  He was right; he wasn't bad looking.

Hemingway based the character of Pedro Romero on the young toreador, Cayetano Ordoñez. He was right; he wasn’t bad looking.

 

Book 3

“No.  I can stay another week.  I think I’ll go to San Sebastian.”  (232)

San Sebastian.  Looks like a good vacation spot, no?

San Sebastian. Looks like a good vacation spot, no?

The Sun Also Rises, Book One — in pictures!

Something that helped me to get through The Sun Also Rises this time around (my third attempt…) was to read it as a travel book.  In the years since my second attempt at the novel, I’ve had the good fortune to travel to Paris several times.  Those trips really helped me to visualize and enjoy the beginning of the book (which, in my opinion, is the most difficult part) much more.  While I can’t bring students to France merely for the sake of enjoying a single work of literature (#teachergoals…), I can replicate here in this blog post what I did the entire time I was reading the book: pull out my phone to look up images of the places Hemingway name-dropped.

In other words, I used my smart phone to…you know…make myself smarter.

Hemingway is famous for following his early mentor Ezra Pound’s diktat eschewing adjectives.  He describes scenes with action mostly, but does do an awful lot of name-dropping of places.  I can’t imagine he expected his audience back home in the States to know what the places he named looked like.  His intention was probably to say “This glamourous place with this sexy foreign name exists, and I’ve been there, and aren’t you just so jealous?”  He might not have been quite that arrogant, but it is true that his writings for the Toronto Star and the writings of other American expats in Paris did much to contribute to Paris’s (and France’s…and Spain’s…) romantic allure, which thereby led to increased tourism that over-saturated the city with Americans and Brits, and caused the original expat community to shudder and look for the next great hipster beehive.

Anyway, I digress (was that last sentence a wee too judgy?).  My point is this: We don’t need a ticket on the QEII and a million dollars and two months of time to follow in his footsteps the way his original audience would have; all we need is Google.

So this post will try to illustrate as much of the book as possible in order to help students develop a mental picture of the setting.  Page numbers refer to the First Scribner trade paperback edition, 2003.  All photos, unless they are mine, were pulled from the internet, so if one belongs to you and you would prefer that I remove it, just let me know and I will.

PARIS (Book One)

We had dined at l’Avenue’s and afterward went to Café de Versailles. (14)

L_Avenue_Paris_01c

I’m sick of Paris, and I’m sick of the Quarter. (19)  
(NB: “The Quarter” refers to the neighborhood of Montparnasse that was the hub of the American expat scene in the 1920s, not to the Latin Quarter (as I mistakenly thought)

Tour-Montparnasse-56-8-630x405-C-OTCP-DR

This is a view from the Montparnasse Tower that was not there during Hemingway’s day.  Too bad for him.

Then I sorted out the carbons, stamped on a by-line, put the stuff in a couple of big manila envelopes and rang for a boy to take them to the Gare St. Lazare.  (20)

Gare_de_Paris-Saint-Lazare_001

Gare St. Lazare.  (Gare is French for train station.  Paris has quite a few.)

We went out to the Café Napolitain to have an apéritif and watch the evening crowd on the Boulevard.  (21)

download

We turned off the Avenue up the Rue des Pyramides, through the traffic of the Rue de Rivoli, and through a dark gate into the Tuileries.  (23)

rue des pyramides

The Joan of Arc statue where the Rue des Pyramides meets the Rue de Rivoli

tuileries

The ferris wheel in the Tuileries, which is the giant park in front of the Louvre Museum that runs along the River Seine.

Louvre

Your humble blogger in front of the Louvre Pyramid.

The dancing club was a bal musette in the Rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève.  Five nights a week the working people of the Pantheon quarter danced there. (27)

bal musette

A bal musette (i.e., A dance club)

The taxi went up the hill, passed the lighted square, then on into the dark, still climbing, then levelled out onto a dark street behind St. Etienne du Mont, went smoothly down the asphalt, passed the trees and the standing bus at the Place de la Contrescarpe, the turned onto the cobbles of the Rue Mouffetard.  (33)

Paris_5_-_Saint-Etienne-du-Mont_et_tour_de_Clovis

The Church of St. Etienne du Mont

PlaceContrescarpe

Panorama of the Place de la Contrescarpe

rue-mouffetard-3

Rue Mouffetard

We were sitting now like two strangers.  On the right was the Parc Montsouris. (35)

parc-montsouris

Parc Montsouris

“Café Select,” I told the driver.  “Boulevard Montparnasse.”  (35) 

Historic-Montparnasse-cafes-in-Paris-Cafe-Le-Select

I went out onto the sidewalk and walked down toward the Boulevard St. Michel, passed the tables of the Rotonde, still crowded, looked across the street at the Dome, its tables running out to the edge of the pavement.  Some one waved at me from a table, I did not see who it was and went on.  I wanted to get home.  The Boulevard Montparnasse was deserted.  Lavigne’s was closed tight, and they were stacking the tables outside the Closerie des Lilas.  I passed Ney’s statue standing among the new-leaved chestnut trees in the arc-light.  (37)

LaCloseriedesLilas

La Closerie des Lilas (Hemingway used this particular cafe as his office.  Waiters in France will never make you get up and leave.)

leDome

Le Dome, a major cafe in the American expat scene. Hemingway hated it; too gossipy.

la rotonde

La Rotonde, another major expat cafe.

michel-ney-statue

Ney’s Statue in Montparnasse near Closerie des Lilas.  Marshal Ney was a military commander during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

The horse-chestnut trees in the Luxembourg gardens were in bloom.  (43)

luxembourg gardens

Le Jardin du Luxembourg

From the Madeleine I walked along the Boulevard des Capucines to the Opéra, and up to my office.  (43)

The_Madeleine,_Paris,_France,_ca._1890-1900

The Madeleine is a church that is built to resemble a Greek temple. It’s incredible.

madeleine interior

I took this photo inside the Madeleine, August 2015

paris opera

The famed Paris Opera House

paris opera interior

Inside the Opera

phantom

As a Drama teacher I’d be remiss not to point out that the Paris Opera is where The Phantom of the Opera takes place.

At five o’clock I was in the Hotel Crillon waiting for Brett.  (48)

hotel-de-crillon

The Hotel de Crillon. Not too shabby!

lux_430x280_h_paris_hotel-de-crillon05

Inside the hotel, where Jake was supposed to meet Brett.

It was three days ago that Harvey had won two hundred francs from me shaking poker dice in the New York Bar. (49)

Harrys-New-York-Bar-Paris-photo-by-Jonathan-Savoie_1200Harry's

Finally we went up to Montmartre.  Inside Zelli’s it was crowded, smoky, and noisy. (69)

mary montmartre.jpg

My grandmother, Mary, in front of the iconic Sacre Coeur church atop Montmartre.  Montmartre is a hillside neighborhood famous for attracting artists an bohemians the generation before Hemingway.

And there you have it: The Sun Also Rises, Book One.

As a bonus, and unrelated to the book, here are a few shots of my students in Paris (April 2015) as well as videos of myself in France (July 2014 & August 2015; video credits to Gabino).

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles fountain

Versailles

Isaiah

Notre Dame

Casarr

Pigeons at Notre Dame

Zarriea

 

The Lost Generation FOUND: or, How I’m Learning to Stop Kvetching and Love the Americans in Paris

"You are all a lost generation." ~Gertrude Stein

“You are all a lost generation.” ~Gertrude Stein

In October of this year, my choir — MasterVoices — will present the New York premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon‘s opera, 27, about the literary and intellectual salons held at the home of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in the years between the world wars.  Hemingway and Fitzgerald are characters.  So are Picasso and Man Ray.  It should be a heady romp of an opera!

Because the opera is so literary, I decided it would be fantastic if I could bring my College Bridge Senior English class to see it, but this posed a challenge: How in the world would 12th graders ever truly appreciate the work without some knowledge of all the key players?  Or, for that matter, how would I?

See, I’m somewhat poorly-versed when it comes to the Lost Generation.  I know all the big names of the era that any self-respecting English major should know, but I haven’t ever spent much time with them.  I read “The Old Man and the Sea” in 7th grade twenty-five years ago and remember very little of it beyond the fact that I disliked it.  I tried to love Hemingway by reading The Sun Also Rises on two separate occasions but found the book to be a tiresome chore.  I’ve never been gaga about Gatsby like a lit-lover is supposed to be, and I think I opened up Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons once while in college, read a single poem, shuddered, then promptly returned to it to its shelf in the library.  Thus ended my time with the Americans in Paris in the 1920s.  To me they seemed purely hedonistic and self-absorbed, and really self-important.  I didn’t have much of an interest.

And I might have left them there, sitting on the shelf and continuing to accrue accolades from everyone but me, but for three things: this upcoming Ricky Ian Gordon opera, as I’ve said, and Joyce and Woolf.  They’re of the era and of the ilk, more verbose than their American counterparts and a thousand times more cerebral and difficult…and yet I adore them.  As an Irishman and a Brit, there might be an argument for the difference of their literary output, but, most things being the same, I ought to be able to find something worthwhile in their American peers, right?  So it occurred to me that the only reason I ever came to love Joyce and Woolf in the first place was due to my professor, Richard Hood, who provided rich, detailed background to their lives and times that gave their writing a context and a point of approach.  He made their writing feel vital to a young twenty-something in the late 1990s, a fact for which I’m deeply grateful and now need to replicate for my own students.

I never had that with the Americans in Paris — I’ve never read them in the context of a class — but if I’m going to enjoy performing in an opera about them, and if I’m going to provide my students with a richly satisfying educational experience, then I’d better damn well get studying and teach myself so that I can pass the knowledge on.

everybody-behaves-badlyWhich is what I’ve been doing.  First, I made a third attempt at The Sun Also Rises, and this time I finished it.  I won’t say it’s become my favorite book or that Hemingway’s genius dripped from the pages in any obvious way, but I really did like it — so that’s a start.  I’m currently reading Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece, The Sun Also Rises by Lesley M. M. Blume, a book that seems to have been released to coincide exactly with my interest in the subject matter; it came out at the beginning of last month, just as I was piecing together my course of study.  Blume’s book has acutely sharpened my appreciation for and interest in Hemingway.

Anyway, in the days and weeks to come, I plan to post my explorations of the works I read in a way that is meant to be shared with my students, but will hopefully be of interest to any reader who stumbles across my blog.  I’m coming at this with an open mind, yes, but, more importantly, with a humble mind.  My previous encounters with the Lost Generation writers have left me feeling dismissive of their talents, but this time around my thought is, “You know what?  They are beloved for a reason.”  Rather than try to trash them, I’m going to try to see what it is that others see, and I’m going to share this experience with my students.

And with you.  So if you’re reading this and you have any reading suggestions for me, please feel free to pass them on in the comment section.  Otherwise, keep checking in for updates!

***Apropos of nothing, here’s a video of my aforementioned professor, Richard Hood, playing the banjo as he’s wont to do.  A man of many, many talents; he not only taught modernist literature, he toured the country (world?) with his bluegrass band, led humanitarian trips to Haiti and moved me cross-country from Ohio to California.  Hemingway may or may not be a genius, and Stein probably isn’t (not really…), but Hood sure as hell is!

 

I saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing

From Brother Walt:

"without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green" (not Louisiana, and not a live-oak, but I think it gets the point across)

“without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green”
(not Louisiana [it’s Marblehead, Ohio], and not a live-oak, but I think it gets the point across)

I saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing
by Walt Whitman

 

I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green,
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
But I wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without its friend near, for I knew I could not,
And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it, and twined around it a little moss,
And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,
It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,
(For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,)
Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;
For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana solitary in a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
I know very well I could not.